In the months leading up to the 2020-’21 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today’s edition will take a brief look at Geo Baker with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Baker is a clutch shot-making guard for the Scarlet Knights, and a key piece in their rise from the basement of the conference last season to serious threat. He was even named to the preseason Bob Cousy Award Watch List.
Congratulations to Geo Baker, who was named to the Bob Cousy Award Watch List! Geo is one of the 20 listed for the recognition of the top point guard in the nation— Rutgers Basketball (@RutgersMBB) November 2, 2020
on the #CousyAward: https://t.co/OU4AxN5jQA
⚔️ #GardenStatement pic.twitter.com/CUUFA2Tubw
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - No. 12 Geo Baker:
- Eligibility: Senior
- Career Totals: 78 games, 2,908 minutes, 2,041 points, 253 rebounds, 309 assists
- 2019-’20 Averages: 28.9 min, 10.9 pts, 2.8 rebs, 3.4 asts, 0.5 blks, 1.1 stls
- Positional Role: Point Guard
Under head coach Steve Pikiell, Rutgers has slowly crawled its way out from the basement of the Big Ten as a sure win and emerged as a tough out last season, finishing tied for fifth place in the standings at the end of the regular season. Geo Baker is a huge part of that turnaround. He earned Third Team All-Big Ten honors last season, and Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore. He is also ranked the No. 9 returning player in the country by Andy Katz and a Preseason First Team All-Big Ten honoree by Jon Rothstein.
Baker is a reliable scorer in the moments his team needs points. The point guard for Rutgers had game winning big shots in five conference games alone last season. Clearly Baker is a point guard that you can rely on to score when the game is on the line. Baker is also a reliable contributor around the floor. He ranked No. 28 in the conference for scoring last season, tied for No. 9 in assists, tied for No. 10 in steals, and tied for No. 7 in assists to turnover ratio. Overall Baker is a solid and reliable player to run the point.
-Areas for Improvement
For all his reliability in scoring, Baker could benefit from increasing his percentage from both two-point and three-point range. Despite Baker’s attempts from deep last season decreasing from 5.7 to 4.5 per game, his percentage plummeted from 34-percent to just 28-percent. Baker is a clutch shooter, but Rutgers would benefit greatly from him improving his shot at other times.
Baker could also benefit from drawing more fouls that get him to the line. Baker averaged just 2 free throw attempts last season, but on his career is a 76-percent shooter from the line. Though having said all of that, some of his drop-off in production last season can probably be attributed to his thumb injury short after the new year that sidelined him for a few games. However, even looking at past seasons these are things that will move Baker from third-team honors to second or first-team as he begins his final season in the Big Ten.
Baker will be a formidable point guard this season for Rutgers. Despite being robbed of the chance to snap their NCAA tournament drought last season, Rutgers enters this season with high expectations on the hardwood. Baker is a key component of those expectations. Big Ten fans should expect to see a lot of minutes out of the senior point guard when tuning in for the Scarlet Knights.
With players like Ron Harper Jr. flanking him on the court, Baker will be a potent scoring threat manning the offense for Rutgers. Opponents should be wary of the Scarlet Knights and expect little to no drop-off from Rutgers’ breakout season last year. With a long off-season to recover from his thumb injury and continue to work on his game, Baker should be an enjoyable player to watch (when your team is not facing him) this season.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ Rankings:
- #27-28 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Adam Miller (Illinois)
- #25 - Miller Kopp (Northwestern)
- #22 - Ron Harper (Rutgers)
- #22 - Eric Hunter (Purdue)
- #22 - CJ Fredrick (Iowa)
- #21 - Rob Phinisee (Indiana)
- #20 - Khristian Lander (Indiana)
- #19 - Seth Towns (Ohio State)
- #17 - Nate Reuvers (Wisconsin)
- #17 - Mark “Rocket” Watts (Michigan State)
- #16 - Micah Potter (Wisconsin)
- #15 - Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
- #14 - Joey Hauser (Michigan State)
- #13 - Jordan Bohannon (iowa)
- #12 Geo Baker (Rutgers)